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Chewy's Strength Log


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Okay so I mentionned in the last post I put my training logs under the microscope. I dunno if I mentionned this or anyone noticed but my strength ain't been where it was last summer, after then I decided to try and boost my relative strength and try hit some PB's around 83kg. I've been trying to figure out what I've been doing wrong, obsessing over what exercises or program to go on. Obviously a couple of weeks ago I chose Jim Wendler's 5/3/1.

 

I decided to look back through my training log and write down my noticable PB's for the powerlifts (for 1 - 13 reps depending), and the date I hit them on. I discovered that EVERY PB under 10 reps (so 1-9RMs) were set between June-August 2011 when my bodyweight was at its highest. This came as no surprise. But it got me thinking I've never really looked at my bodyweight progression very closely.

 

So I went through my log and put all my bodyweight entries into an Excel spreadsheet. This was time consuming to say the least, as the first half of the entries were in pounds (I now use kilograms). I made a graph;

 

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j287/chewybaws/bodyweight.jpg

 

I quickly realised. I've NEVER made gains whilst just maintaining my bodyweight (or losing bodyweight, but that's to be expected). I could actually look at the graph and remember my training cycles from the beginning, throughout. I checked the dates with my log and everything makes sense.

 

Here's a quick run down of my training;

After discovering VBBF I got myself a light DB kit and for maybe a month or something. I weighed 10.5 stone at this point, 66kg. After much internet research I decided a strength program and bulking was the way for beginners. I ordered a 100kg barbell set, bench and power rack for my room. The graph starts when I started Stronglifts program in June 2009.

Stronglifts 5x5

June 2009 - February 2010

Basically just before I started stronglifts I went from just eating when hungry to eating 5000-6000 calories a day for 3 months. Gained a lot of strength, muscle but a lot of bodyfat too quickly. Decided to cut some of it back, that's the dip in the graph. Strength suffered tremendously and stopped making gains.

 

Stronglifts Advanced

February 2010 - April 2010

As seen on the graph, only maintained my bodyweight. Had a horrid cycle. Hated the program and struggled with the weights. No gains. Decided to start bulking again.

Jim Wendler's 5/3/1

April 2010 - November 2010

Made great gains on this program. My weight gain was steady and consistent. Only reason I stopped it was because I joined the weightlifting club.

 

Powerlifting peaking cycle to my first comp

November 2010 - Feb 2011

After a couple of weeks I got a program from the guy who runs the powerlifting club. Weight gain continued, made crazy gains, especially in the deadlift. Had a great first comp.

 

Post comp for whatever reason I stopped eating as much and burnt out, a couple of false starts starting new progs. Injured my back minorly and took a week off after this. You can actually see my bodyweight levelled off there. Decided to start Madcow 5x5 and start eating more again.

 

Madcow 5x5

April 2011 - June 2011

Fucking great cycle. Gained weight steadily, hit just about my highest BW. Hit tonnes of PB's in June.

 

4 week peaking schedule + 2nd comp

June 2011 - July 2011

Bodyweight still rose a tiny bit, attempted and hit many PB's thanks to Madcow's work. Another routine by the guy who runs the powerlifting. Had a great comp in July.

Just another peaking schedule really + 3rd comp

August 2011 - September 2011

This is where the shit hit the fan. I hit some higher rep PB's still with my strength from the last cycle. But my bodyweight skydived down 3 or 4kg and tried to get it back before the comp but it was too late. I also started to obsess with straightening out my back on deadlifts/form on other exercises. Horrid cycle, lost strength and had my worst competition yet.

 

Basically after this I was left with still a high'ish bodyweight but much weaker. And I thought what was the point of being this heavy and decided to drop to 83kg. I can kind of see why I done it then but it made no fucking sense. I never cared about relative strength or weight classes.

 

So before I started 5/3/1 a couple of weeks ago, I tried a few schedules from the guy who runs the powerlifting again. But as you can see, I lost bodyweight through to January 2012.

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS;

*I don't gain strength or muscle while maintaining/losing bodyweight

*Volume in the program is irrelevant. I've made gains with all sorts as long as I'm bulking

*Steady weight gain is definitely the key to strength/muscle gains

 

It's funny looking back and thinking I put on 20kg of mass in about 14 or 15 months between May 2010 - July 2011. I stayed pretty lean during a lot of that time as well. I don't know how the hell I lost sight of my goal just to become a tank and started caring about relative strength and cutting back fat. I didn't even have that much at the time.

 

My focus is sharpened now though, the steady bulk is back on

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Thanks for your comments on my thread. I like the strong lifts program, is this a good one for gains whilst reducing body fat as well? I have a bit of spare tyre that needs to shifted

 

I love the attention to detail you presented and how you put it all in a spreadsheet. I think I shall 'borrow' this idea if that's ok. I used to be pretty good with excel and access software before going into electronics so if you need a hand with anything let me know - I can be a bit of a geek sometimes and enjoy techie stuff.

 

Any way thanks again and god luck with the gains and training

 

 

---

I am here: http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=52.371231,-0.776259

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Hi Chewy!

I'm a big fan of your log and just wanted to finally send you a post to say you are AWESOME!

You seem like a real cool dude and are an inspiration to me.

I love reading about your training so keep posting and good luck with your next cycle.

Your assessment looks on point and I know you'll do great things this year.

 

peace,

Jesse

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Chewy, that last post proves why your log is so crucial to this forum - extremely insightful, analytical, and inspirational. Serious props for taking the time to do all of that; your dedication is admirable.

 

My focus is sharpened now though, the steady bulk is back on

 

And I'm stoked to watch this progress. Cheers, mate.

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is this a good one for gains whilst reducing body fat as well?
It is very hard to gain muscle whilst losing bodyweight. Stronglifts is a great program for gaining mass and strength, but it uses very heavy loading (+2.5kg per workout) and requires that you eat a lot (otherwise you stall quickly). A bit of extra bodyfat may come with the territory but can be cut later. If reducing fat is your priority I'd concentrate on cardio with maintenance lifting.

 

 

Hi Chewy!

I'm a big fan of your log and just wanted to finally send you a post to say you are AWESOME!

You seem like a real cool dude and are an inspiration to me.

I love reading about your training so keep posting and good luck with your next cycle.

Your assessment looks on point and I know you'll do great things this year.

 

peace,

Jesse

Cheers mate! Thanks for dropping in

 

 

And thanks vegansludge!

 

 

 

Week 3

 

Mon 6th February 2012

Bodyweight = 86.7kg

 

Squat

1x5x110kg

1x3x125kg

1x5x140kg (belt for this set only)

 

DB Bench

3x10x22.5kg DBs

 

Kroc Rows

3x10x32.5kg DB

 

Dips

3x10

 

Plate Pinches for grip, 2x1m plank for abs.

 

Worked out around midday, and just didn't get enough carbs in before it. Just a glass of orange juice, couple of slices of toast and jam + protein shake first thing in the morning. I ran out of vega sport last week so tried making my own pre workout drink and it didn't blend properly so that was a waste. Squats felt really fucking heavy. I had completely no energy, I dunno what I ran on for the rest of the workout. Dips were surprisingly easy though.

 

 

Tue 7th February 2011

Intervals on stationary bike. 15mins total with 5x20s flat out.

 

Tried taking a reference picture today but it didn't come out so well, blurry...

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j287/chewybaws/SAM_1696.jpg

 

 

On Saturday I was dumped by my girl after over 5 years together. I'm obviously pretty depressed just now and not been eating or sleeping optimally. You never realise what you had till it's gone.

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Sorry to hear man. I've been there before. I know it sucks and there isn't much that can be said in the way of comfort, but keep your head up; you'll make it through and come out stronger. Use this new emotion to fuel your lifting. And at least now you'll have more time to focus on yourself. PMA mate

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Cheers guys.

 

Wed 8th February 2012

Bodyweight = 84.4kg

 

Front squats (no belt)

3x5x97.5kg

 

Bench

1x5x57.5kg

1x3x65kg

1x9x72.5kg

 

Pullups

10 normal, then 2x10 assisted with purple mini band

 

OHP

3x10x30kg

 

Ab roller (on knees)

1x10 BW

2x10 +5kg

 

For grip I just swung from handles on my pullup bar.

 

Had a fucking horrendous sleep last night, but a real decent workout considering. Cheered me up a good bit. Happy with bench, the 10 pullups were easier than last week.

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Hi. Chewy thought I'd pop by and reply to your advice. Mini Forklift has helped me with a workout which I am excited about starting next week.

 

That does not mean I won't try strong lifts later on down the road and I would never of heard of it if you hadn't of dropped by my thread - so thanks mate. I think my priority is to gain some strength and size, if that means gaining some fat along the way then do be it.

 

Sorry to hear about your shitty news mate I think it's safe to say every one here, including myself, offer our support. I'll let you know how I get on with New workout

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nae bother Dougie!

 

Thu 9th February 2012

10x Hill Sprints, easy hill

 

First time doing hill sprints. These actually didn't feel too bad at the time. But when I jogged at a slow pace to cool down it became immediately clear that I was fucked haha. Not surprising that my groin is sore but my elbows come in close 2nd. Wtf lol. The ground was wet and my shoes weren't exactly grippy, but it was a good laugh. Me and my workout buddy don't really have running gear we just really lift. So we were out dressed like twats.

 

I have this feeling that I won't be able to walk when I get up tomorrow. I never really go long walks, never mind jog or run. Oh well, just deadlifts tomorrow really. I use a close stance so my groin will be safe.

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Yes. Must keep groin safe. Groins are special.

 

Do you think your elbows hurt from swinging your arms to get you up the hill? One way to get that under control is to get two 1/2 cupfuls of water and practice running around and not letting any water spill out.

 

Hill sprints are a hardcore way to get into running. You guys are toughies.

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Do you think your elbows hurt from swinging your arms to get you up the hill? One way to get that under control is to get two 1/2 cupfuls of water and practice running around and not letting any water spill out.
Most definitely that's what it's from. I think I'd slow down considerably if I wasn't using my arms whilst sprinting. Since we're toughies we'll do it with boiling water

 

 

 

Done 30 mins on the exercise bike tonight, low resistance. Enough to get a sweat on. Be lying if it was for any reason except boredom and having something to do.

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Been having a shitty week, and mood's been getting worse. Sleeping isn't getting any easier. And my legs felt destroyed when I got up this morning

 

Fri 10th February 2012

Boydweight = 84.9kg

 

Squats (pause first and last rep)

1x5x60kg

1x5x72.5kg

1x5x80kg

 

Push Press

1x5x47.5kg

1x3x52.5kg

1x8x60kg

 

Deadlift

1x5x147.5kg (hook grip, no belt)

1x3x165kg (hook grip, no belt)

1x6x185kg (hook grip, belt)

 

Tried deadlifts with bands basically I managed one set with doubled blue small bands before the bands started pulling the DB's around under the bar. We'd already tried a different setup. I lost the plot, couldn't be fucked with it. Just tidied up, stretched and left.

 

Hook grip held up quite well on deads, could use it from now on. I kept a couple of reps in the tank today.

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Week 4 (deload)

 

Mon 13th February 2012

Bodyweight = 84.8kg

 

Squat

1x5x57.5kg

1x5x72.5kg

1x5x87.5kg

 

DB Bench

2x10x22.5kg DBs

1x10x25kg DBs

 

Kroc Rows

2x10x32.5kg DB

1x10x35kg DB

 

Weighted Dips

3x10 +2.5kg

 

BB Curls

1x10x20kg

1x10x25kg

 

 

Wed 15th February 2012

Bodyweight = 84kg

 

Front Squat

After taking the bar for 2x15, pulled my groin on the 3rd rep at 50kg

 

Bench

1x5x30kg

1x5x37.5kg

1x5x45kg

 

Pullups

10 normal

2x10 assisted with purple mini band

 

OHP

3x10x32.5kg

 

 

Friday 17th February 2012

Bodyweight = 84.7kg

 

Leg Press (feet together)

1x15x130kg

1x15x150kg

 

Push press

1x5x25kg

1x5x32.5kg

1x5x37.5kg

 

Deadlift

1x5x77.5kg

1x5x97.5kg

1x5x117.5kg

 

Deadlift with bands

1x10x70kg +purple mini

1x10x70kg +red super mini

1x10x70kg +blue small

1x10x70kg +blue small + purple mini

 

Deload week's always boring for the main exercises. Didn't do a proper mobility warmup on wednesday was in a rush, however I done 2x15 with the bar before my first front squat set. There's no way my groin should've pulled with just 50kg. It was obviously overtight and ready to go. Friday I tried to do my normal warmup but I can't lunge, do mountain climbers, squat to stands or foam roll certain positions because of my groin, and trying them just made it worse. Leg press will be my squat replacement. Through trial and error I basically have to have my feet completely together, my knees can't go outwards at all otherwise my groin takes some of it.

 

 

As far as mood goes, I feel much better this week following the breakup. Last Saturday my mood hit an all time low but since Sunday I felt much much better. I've unsubscribed from all her stuff online which is much better for coping with stuff. I obviously still get sad sometimes but compared to my mood swings last week doing much better.

 

Due to poor diet the last couple of weeks and stress got more spots on my body just now, sucks. But eating a lot better today and more veg, should be able to keep it up now.

 

 

Went clothes shopping this week and got some new stuff online. My first attempt in shops wasn't good. Over 7 years of my adult life i've spent over 6 with a girl, and when I needed clothes we'd go together. I was walking around a clothes shop like...."I don't know what the fuck I'm doing" haha. Got some jeans and plenty of t-shirts with tight sleeves to get the guns on display.

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  • 2 weeks later...

5/3/1 Cycle 2

Week 1

 

Mon 20th February 2012

Bodyweight = 84.1kg

 

Squat

3x25x20kg (groin rehab)

 

Leg Press (feet together)

1x10x140kg

1x23x160kg

 

DB Bench

1x10x22.5kg DBs

2x10x25kg DBs

 

Kroc Rows

1x10x32.5kg DB

2x10x35kg DB

 

Weighted Dips

3x10 +5kg

 

Weighted Plank

30s +25kg

30s +35kg

30s +50kg

 

 

Tue 21st February 2012

 

Squat (groin rehab)

2x25x20kg

1x25x25kg

 

 

Wed 22nd February 2012

Bodyweight = 84.9kg

 

Squat (groin rehab)

1x25x20kg

1x25x25kg

1x25x30kg

 

Bench

1x5x50kg

1x5x60kg

1x12x67.5kg

 

Pullups

2x10 (first time ever getting 10 for 2 sets)

1x10 assisted with purple mini band

 

OHP

3x10x32.5kg (+ extra collar for microloading)

 

Ab roller/cable crunch superset, and CoC #1 for grip - 3 reps left hand, 4 reps right

 

 

Thu 23rd February 2012

 

Squat (groin rehab)

1x25x25kg

1x25x30kg

1x25x35kg

 

 

Fri 24th February 2012

 

Squats (groin rehab)

1x25x25kg

1x25x32.5kg

1x25x40kg

 

Push Press

1x5x42.5kg

1x5x50kg

1x10x55kg

 

Deadlift

1x5x130kg

1x5x150kg

1x10x170kg (belt for this set only, new 10RM)

 

3x10x70kg +blue small band

 

 

 

Saturday night got fucking wrecked, didn't sleep before work on Sunday. Barely ate Sunday, and not much better Monday/Tuesday. So following workouts suffered;

 

 

Week 2

 

Mon 27th February 2012

Bodyweight = 83.6kg

 

Squat (groin rehab)

1x25x25kg

1x25x35kg

1x25x45kg

 

Leg Press (feet together)

1x10x150kg

1x12x170kg

 

DB Bench

3x10x25kg DBs

 

Kroc Rows

1x15x20kg DB

2x15x25kg DB

 

Dips

3x10

 

 

Wed 29th Feburary 2012

Bodyweight = 83.9kg

 

Squat (groin rehab)

1x20x30kg

1x20x40kg

1x20x50kg

 

Bench

1x3x55kg

1x3x62.5kg

1x11x70kg (failed a 12th rep, thought I had it)

 

Pullups

10, 10, 7

 

OHP

3x10x32.5kg (+ 2 extra sets of collars, microloading)

 

Weighted plank

30s +25kg

30s +45kg

30s +65kg

 

 

 

 

I'm not gonna get into the individual workouts too much, but I'll summarise the main stuff. Groin's getting there, loosely using Rippetoe's method of just attacking muscle injuries with exercises that work the muscle very light high reps every day. There's various stretches/foam rolling positions I've been avoiding that have been aggravating it. Today I done kinda soft versions of them, I can feel it's still a bit strained and tight but way better than what it was. Still won't try front squats at least till next week, just gonna keep building up my main squat 5kg at a time with high reps till I'm back over 100kg again. Hopefully be ready for next cycle but I ain't rushing it. My legs can get plenty of work. I found out very quickly the first day that I can only leg press with my feet right together (takes out the groin).

 

Need to try toning down the nights out a bit, been going a bit wild now that I'm a single man again. Today I went out bought a shitload of vegetables, been getting really lazy with my intake. And going to try cutting the refined stuff down a bit. Been getting spots on my body and skins just generally shitty. My bodyweight's dipping again, which is no use for anything.

 

My left knee's starting to get a bit dodgy, I've been quite tight because my groin's limited me on what stretches I can do but I'm starting to be able to do more now so flexibility should sort it out.

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Thu 1st March 2012

 

Squats (groin rehab)

1x20x35kg

1x20x45kg

1x20x55kg

 

Went for a jog in the park for 10 mins, light pace. Was still fucked haha.

 

 

Fri 2nd March 2012

Bodyweight = 85.5kg

 

Squats (groin rehab)

1x20x40kg

1x20x50kg

1x20x60kg

 

Push Press

1x3x45kg

1x3x52.5kg

1x9x57.5kg

 

Deadlift

1x3x140kg

1x3x160kg

1x8x180kg (belt for this set only)

 

3x10x70kg + purple mini and red super mini

 

 

I overstretched my ITB last night and was still pretty sore today. Didn't really affect the exercises any, just fucking sore. Happy with top set of deads.

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...I've unsubscribed from all her stuff online which is much better for coping with stuff...

 

That is ESSENTIAL for working through the emotions and stress. I Facebook-stalked my ex for a few weeks after our breakup, and it didn't do me any favors. Close the connection as cleanly as possible, re-inventory who you are as a person, and get yourself back on your feet. Lifting always helps!

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Cheers everyone!

 

That is ESSENTIAL for working through the emotions and stress. I Facebook-stalked my ex for a few weeks after our breakup, and it didn't do me any favors. Close the connection as cleanly as possible, re-inventory who you are as a person, and get yourself back on your feet. Lifting always helps!
This is exactly my plan! The week after I couldn't stay off her facebook, but since then it hasn't been a problem. Haven't contacted her or anything since a week after breakup, and things are going great! Last week I realised even if she wanted to patch things up, I wouldn't want to. I'm moving on. I've met up with some old friends recently, been going out a lot more, meeting new friends! Got a vegan meetup in Glasgow next week as well which should be good =]

 

 

Week 3

 

Mon 5th March 2012

Bodyweight = 84.4kg

 

Squat (groin rehab)

1x20x45kg

1x20x55kg

1x20x65kg

 

DB Bench

2x10x25kg DBs

1x10x27.5kg DBs

 

Kroc rows

3x10x30kg DB

 

Weighted Dips

3x10 +5kg

 

Weighted Planks

30s +35kg

30s +50kg

30s +65kg

 

 

Tue 6th March 2012

 

Squat (groin rehab)

1x20x50kg

1x20x60kg

1x20x70kg

 

Went for a jog in the park for about 10 mins

 

 

Wed 7th March 2012

 

Squat (groin rehab)

1x15x55kg

1x15x65kg

1x15x75kg

 

Bench

1x5x60kg

1x3x67.5kg

1x7x75kg

 

Pullups

2x10

1x10 assisted with purple mini band

 

OHP

3x10x35kg

 

Ab roller

2x15 (on knees)

 

Captains of crush #1, 5 reps right hand, 3 reps left hand

 

 

Thu 8th March 2012

Bodyweight = 84.5kg

 

Squats (groin rehab)

1x15x60kg

1x15x70kg

1x15x80kg

 

Again, went for a 10min jog in the park

 

 

Fri 9th March 2012

Bodyweight = 84.3kg

 

Squat (groin rehab)

1x15x65kg

1x15x75kg

1x15x85kg

 

Push Press

1x5x50kg

1x3x55kg

1x6x62.5kg

 

Deadlift

1x5x150kg

1x3x170kg

1x6x190kg (belt for this set only, new 6RM)

 

Speed Pulls

5x2x110kg +purple mini band (no belt - but will prob use belt next week)

 

 

Bench/push press not so great this week, but groin rehab feeling much better. Think my legs are actually growing from all the high rep squatting every day haha. I took a wider stance today (Friday) and it felt pretty comfy. Very happy with deadlifts. Overall though, need to get on a proper diet plan. I ain't gaining strength or losing fat, stuck in limbo.

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I pulled 62kg for 21 reps yesterday and felt beastly until I just saw your video. Haha. But in all seriousness, excellent work there, mate.

 

Glad to hear things are looking up for you, as well. A vegan meet-up sounds pretty awesome, too. You'll have to let us all know how that goes.

 

Overall though, need to get on a proper diet plan. I ain't gaining strength or losing fat, stuck in limbo.

 

What's your plan from here on out - still just wanting to get bigger and stronger or are you looking to lose some fat?

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I pulled 62kg for 21 reps yesterday and felt beastly until I just saw your video. Haha. But in all seriousness, excellent work there, mate.

 

Glad to hear things are looking up for you, as well. A vegan meet-up sounds pretty awesome, too. You'll have to let us all know how that goes.

 

Overall though, need to get on a proper diet plan. I ain't gaining strength or losing fat, stuck in limbo.

 

What's your plan from here on out - still just wanting to get bigger and stronger or are you looking to lose some fat?

Cheers and I'll definitely let you guys know how it went.

 

The problem is, I don't know what the plan is haha. Now that I'm a single man again I wouldn't have minded getting the body fat low for abs. But on the other hand I'm 6ft and only 84kg just now... looking pretty lanky. I feel like I really should be adding some mass.

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The problem is, I don't know what the plan is haha. Now that I'm a single man again I wouldn't have minded getting the body fat low for abs. But on the other hand I'm 6ft and only 84kg just now... looking pretty lanky. I feel like I really should be adding some mass.

 

Totally understandable. I've finally determined that gaining mass and getting stronger is my number one priority but it was kind of a battle to get there. On the one hand, having visible abs was something I always wanted to accomplish but, on the other hand, I don't know what that'd actually do for me other than look good. Haha.

 

From your videos, it definitely doesn't look like you need to lose fat and I can only imagine how fast your lifts would go up if you increased your calories. With that said, I think it's really up to you - if you cut what little fat you do have, you'd look shredded as hell; if you up the calories, I can only imagine the destruction you'd bring into the gym.

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